Designs and pattern are usually defined by historical era. We quite often refer to a particular design as "victorian" or "gothic" or "art deco" to name a few. Even using such a vague, open term such as "modern" defines a pattern to an era, albeit a contemporary one. In the 21st century, as far as pattern is concerned, it is safe to say that pretty much everything has been done. What we see in design now is usually a twist on something from the past that gives it an updated feel. I believe we should not label a design by its historical classification - quite often, the lines between each era are blurred anyway. When choosing pattern for our interiors, we should choose first and foremost what we like visually and ignore the era it comes from. The only time we need to pay particular attention to a design's origin is when we are working on a restoration project that needs historical authenticity. With that in mind, I thought I would show you a couple of photographs of stencils from a particular era used out of context to demonstrate how flexible pattern can actually be simply by choice of colours and accessories.
The first photo shows our TR19 Medieval stencil. It includes the typical fleur de lys design as its main motif which is iconic of medieval design. For an authentic medieval look, designs like this would have been painted in rich colours such as burgundy, deep green, dark blue with lots of gold. For this room, I chose to take this medieval design and do it in pale colours to show it in a different light. The choice of colour was very much influenced by Wedgewood pottery with pale blue walls and white pattern.
This second photo, courtesy of The Paint Quality Institute, shows our GMT61-L Tile stencil from our Gothic, Medieval and Tudor range stencilled as a panel on a wall. This typically gothic pattern has become quite Morroccan in feel because of the colours and accessories used.
I shall be starting a new series of posts shortly giving a potted history of the decorative arts, but I still feel that designs should be chosen for their artistic merit in our interiors rather than what era they come from. R.